Health Care

Does Thinking too Much Make You Tired?

Does Thinking too Much Make You Tired- The accumulation of a signaling molecule in the brain brought on by challenging tasks might result in weariness.

A study that ties mental weariness to changes in brain metabolism suggests that the desire to relax on the sofa after a day of working at the computer may be a physiological reaction to cognitively taxing labor.

In the study, which was released on August 11 in Current Biology, it was shown that those who worked for longer than six hours on a laborious and intellectually difficult task had higher amounts of glutamate, a crucial signaling molecule in the brain.

Does Thinking Too Much Make You Tired

A break could enable the brain to regain correct regulation of the molecule after too much glutamate has disrupted brain activity, the scientists suggest.

After a long day of labor, these study participants were also more inclined than those who had completed simpler activities to choose smaller, more immediate financial incentives over bigger prizes that required more work or a longer wait.

According to behavioral neuroscientist Carmen Sandi of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, the work is significant in its attempt to connect cognitive weariness with neurometabolic.

However, more studies, possibly using non-human animals, would be required to demonstrate a causal connection between tiredness and alterations in brain metabolism, she adds.

Sandi opines, “Starting to look at this element is extremely good. However, this is only an observation at this time, which is a correlation.

Tired Brain

Previous research has demonstrated effects of mental strain on physiological parameters such as heart-rate variability and blood flow, but these tend to be subtle, says Martin Hagger, a health psychologist at the University of California, Merced. “It’s not like when you’re exercising skeletal muscle,” he says. “But it is perceptible.”

Cognitive neuroscientist Antonius Wiehler at the Paris Brain Institute and his colleagues thought that the effects of cognitive fatigue could be due to metabolic changes in the brain.

The team enrolled 40 participants and assigned 24 of them to perform a challenging task: for example, watching letters appear on a computer screen every 1.6 seconds and documenting when one matched a letter that had appeared three letters ago.

The other 16 participants were asked to perform a similar, but easier task. Both teams worked for just over six hours, with two ten-minute breaks.

The levels of glutamate in the lateral prefrontal cortex, a component of the brain, were measured by Wiehler and his team using a method called magnetic resonance spectroscopy, while the study participants concentrated on their job.

The area of the brain that enables people to control their impulses is known as cognitive control, and it is located in the prefrontal cortex. According to Wiehler, if an insect stings you, you should scratch the area.

“Cognitive control would be demonstrated if you were to stop this reflex,” Humans also rely on this mechanism to choose short-term rewards that are alluring over long-term benefits, like an unhealthy food.

The people who labored on the more challenging task acquired more glutamate in this area of the brain by the end of the day than did the ones who worked on the simpler activity, the researchers discovered.

And when offered the option between a smaller, more immediate reward and a larger one that would arrive months later, they were more inclined to opt for the latter than they had been earlier in the day.

Wiehler now wants to understand more about how to recuperate from mental tiredness using this technique. He says, “It would be fantastic to learn more about how glutamate levels are restored. Is sleep beneficial?

How long do breaks have to be before they’re effective? Studies on cognitive tiredness may also hold the key to understanding how workers respond to and recover from mentally demanding tasks like air traffic control, where even a momentary lapse in concentration can result in fatalities.

Hagger also expects that other researchers will try the strategy now that a mechanism has been built to assess metabolic changes in response to mental weariness.

This study paves the road for future researchers to explore cognitive tiredness, he claims, because methods to identify it have not been sensitive enough up to this point.

According to Sandi, this research could reveal the chemical pathways that enable glutamate to build during demanding mental effort and how this impacts brain function. She points to animal studies, where glutamate levels can be experimentally manipulated. “This is the challenging part.”


Weariness may be caused by the buildup of a signaling molecule in the brain brought on by difficult tasks. A study found that after a break from mentally demanding activities, people who worked for longer than six hours on a difficult activity had higher levels of glutamate in their brains. According to Sandi Hagger, research on cognitive fatigue may hold the key to understanding how employees react to and recover from intellectually taxing jobs like air traffic control.

People May Ask

Why Do I Feel Tired After Thinking A Lot?

Your brain is telling you to put down whatever you’re doing and sleep so it can rest. There is a ton of evidence to support this, according to the new Sports Medicine study. Adenosine levels are found to grow while you are awake and fall when you go to bed, according to research.

Does Thinking Make Us Tired?

According to specialists, thinking too much can cause mental tiredness. After a challenging day at work, you might be feeling exhausted because you spent too much time thinking. According to research, overusing the grey matter can cause mental weariness, which makes it more difficult to make decisions.

Does Thinking Drain Energy?

According to Raichel’s studies, the brain only makes up 2% of a person’s entire body weight, but it consumes 20% of the body’s energy. Thus, thinking alone consumes roughly 320 calories each day on average. The way that the brain uses energy can vary slightly depending on different mental states and tasks.

Can You Overuse Your Brain?

Other mood or emotional changes could also occur. There are several symptoms of an overworked brain, including cynicism, apathy, lack of drive, and difficulty concentration.

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